Pregnancy Journal #6 – Something Unexpected

As you read this, the baby has arrived Whoever coined the phrase, “patience is a virtue” was never pregnant. I […]

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As you read this, the baby has arrived

Whoever coined the phrase, “patience is a virtue” was never pregnant. I can’t wait any more for my baby to get here! Yeah, sure, of course I want to finally meet him and hold him and all that stuff. But more importantly—I want to be able to move around again! I want to be able to bend over; I want to not feel like my back is going to break in half and I do not want look like a cow anymore. Is that bad? Should it be more about the baby and not me? Perhaps, but for now, I’m so miserable; I can’t take any more of this pregnancy stuff. Could someone just put me out of my misery now?

Fortunately, I don’t have a long wait ahead of me. I just got the word today that I am to have my caesarean-section in three weeks. Three weeks! That means, by the time you read this article, baby will be here. Rather mind boggling, isn’t it? Time flies when you’re knocked up, I guess. Seems like yesterday I was complaining about how my birth control didn’t work.

The day before the caesarean-section, I am scheduled for an amniocentesis. I’m sure many of you don’t have a clue as to what that is. I’m going to try to explain it as simple as possible, but you might want to read about it in a place that has some sort of cushion or padding in case you faint. An amniocentesis, or amnio, is a procedure that can test a variety of issues that affect the baby. It is often used to determine genetic disorders such as Down syndrome, spina bifida and certain blood conditions. The amnio that I am scheduled to have will determine how developed baby’s lungs are, thus telling the doctor if he is indeed ready to be delivered. When the results of this test comes back with no problems (results come back the same day), the c-section is scheduled immediately within a day or two.

Now, here’s the fun part. Amnios are done with a big needle. I mean BIG. Bigger than what a needle should even be when its purpose is to be stuck into your belly. Yes, that’s where it goes. Inside a pregnant woman’s uterus, surrounding the baby is amniotic fluid. The needle is inserted into the belly so that a sample of the fluid can be extracted and sent to the lab. The fluid will tell how well baby’s lungs have developed. The whole procedure is done along with an ultrasound, so the doctor can see exactly where the needle is and that baby is not harmed in any way. They say you might feel a pinch or some cramping from the needle as it is inserted, but we all know that’s a load of hooey. It’s going to hurt and it will hurt badly—I just know it! I’m extremely afraid of this amnio thing…more so than delivery. But it must be done, or so they say.

Despite my initial shallow response to having the baby and my fears of the amnio, I am so excited, I can barely stand it. Life as I know it will never be the same. I hope I will be a good mother. I’ve practiced a little on the cat—you know, holding her like a baby and wrapping her in a blanket. The problem is, she doesn’t really like to be held and wriggles her way out whenever I do that. I guess nothing really prepares you for motherhood like having the experience of an actual human baby.

Looking back on the last eight months, I believe I underestimated how much pregnancy would affect my life as a disabled woman. Things were fine up until my sixth month. It seemed like a whole bunch of complications happened at once and as I began to get bigger and bigger, my mobility became more and more limited. As a person with a disability, you may agree that added limitations on top of pre-existing limitations can be very frustrating. This reminds me of the time I had to have carpal tunnel surgery on both my hands at once. As you can imagine, it was a really difficult recovery because my independence level was so affected. However, it was my sense of independence which led me to have the surgery, much like it also led me to have a baby. As difficult as it was, I’m proud to have experienced pregnancy as a disabled woman. I hope in the future, I see a whole group of disabled women who have chosen to do the same.

Stay tuned, readers. The next article will be my last, but you will finally get to meet the long-awaited and much talked-about person that I’ve been referring to in these journals.

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